Australia: Guidance on GST treatment of digital currency transactions

A series of guides on goods and services tax treatment of digital currency transactions

A series of guides on goods and services tax treatment of digital currency transactions

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) released a series of guides on the goods and services tax (GST) treatment of digital currency transactions. 

The ATO defines digital currency as “a type of crypto asset that uses cryptography and distributed ledger technology to secure and record transactions,” and for GST purposes, a digital currency is a digital unit of value that:

  • Is fully interchangeable with the same digital currency
  • Can be provided as payment
  • Is available to the public free of any substantial restrictions
  • Is either:
    • Not denominated in any country's currency
    • Denominated in a currency that is not issued by, or under the authority of, an Australian or foreign government
  • Does not have a value that is derived from or is dependent on anything else
  • Does not give an entitlement to receive something else unless it is incidental to holding it or using it as payment
  • If supplied, would not be an input-taxed financial supply for a reason other than being a supply of a digital currency or money

Other crypto assets such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), stablecoins, and an initial coin offering, are not considered digital currency by the ATO, although its treatment for GST purposes will depend on its characteristics.


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